Record-Breaking Bushfires Rage in Australia

Record-Breaking Bushfires Rage in Australia

Luka Alves, Journalist

Fires in Australia are somewhat common, due to the hot, dry weather. However, Australian bushfires have been getting worse each time they occur, and the fires currently burning in Australia are the worst yet. Millions of acres have burned, homes have been destroyed, and people and animals have died.

The fires were caused by an extreme drought (caused by the most rainless spring on record in Australia) followed by high temperatures, the average temperature being 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit. 

These conditions have caused the fires to start even in areas which are usually cool and wet. The Australian government has issued the fires a “catastrophic” fire danger rating, the first catastrophic rating ever issued. In some areas, people have had to evacuate, and, in Sydney, air quality is worse than almost anywhere in the world, due to the smoke and ashes, which has spread as far as New Zealand, 2581.7973 miles away.

Climate change is likely to blame for the fires, as it caused the extreme dryness and then the extreme heat which has allowed the fires to become so dangerous. Scientists claim that each subsequent bushfire will be worse if Australia’s climate-changing emissions are not lessened.

The fires are extremely dangerous, and pose a particular threat to indigenous people and endangered animals. The fires are currently burning land in which the two largest groups of indigenous people in Australia live, putting their lives in danger and destroying their homes. In addition, endangered animals, such as the southern corroboree frog, the mountain pygmy possum, the glossy black cockatoo, and many more, are in danger of extinction. Unlike more common animals (such as kangaroos and wallabies), which are spread out across the continent and will surely survive the fires, these endangered species only live in one area and are in great danger from the fires. Non-endangered animals are also being affected by the fires, although they will not be pushed towards extinction by them. It is estimated that around one billion animals have perished in the fires. Koalas have also been badly affected, and it has already been estimated that only five percent of the koala population remains, a number which will likely drop following the fires.

Unfortunately, the government of Australia, which supports the coal industry that has caused most of the climate change in Australia, have not done much to prevent or put out the fires. The country’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has done almost nothing to help Australia, and has drawn ire from the public, who have called for his dismissal.

Donating to Australia can help the country. Money can be donated to several organizations, such as the NSW Rural Fire Service (https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au), the Fire Relief Fund for the First Nations Committee (https://au.gofundme.com/f/fire-relief-fund-for-first-nations-communities), the Australian Red Cross (https://www.redcross.org.au/), and the World Wildlife Fund (https://www.wwf.org.au/),